Perhaps by mistake, a preview of an Instagram photo album option—similar to the multi-photo upload feature available on parent Facebook—has made it onto the beta version of the Android app.
Website droid-life.com uncovered this beta test, which so far only allows users to create a photo album on Instagram, but not actually post it to their timeline. Advertisers have had similar capabilities via Facebook Business Manager on Instagram already to create “carousel”-style ads for the network since 2015.
The closest that non-advertisers have come to uploading multiple photos in the social network before now was either through Instagram’s Layout app, or the newly ad-supported Stories. If Instagram photo albums were integrated into the app officially, it would be the first real major change to the platform, outside of Stories, since the network introduced video back in 2013.
It’s worth noting: just because photo albums have snuck into the beta version of Android, that doesn’t mean they’ll eventually go live for everyone. The fact that the current iteration only allows for the creation of albums—but not sharing—suggests that the feature may have been introduced either by accident or before it was ready for prime-time. We should find out soon if this was intentional or just a slip-up on Instagram’s end.